Choose A Naturalistic Landscaping Design
Using rough-hewn slabs for paved surfaces such as paths is one of the most popular landscaping ideas with rocks. They can be edged with gravel, pebbles or boulders to further complement a natural style that focuses on sustainability because it offers a porous hard landscaping choice that allows water to seep into the soil rather than run off.
If you want to build a rockery, local stone that weathers to produce varied surface textures is often a feature in naturalistic garden design, and planting to soften the edges is, of course, key to this look. This combination helps to create an informal space that comes together in a coherent composition.
To pull the look together, choose plants with harmonious or complementary colors to the rocks. Use a mix of plants with flower and foliage interest, and combine upright and creeping forms.
Landscape Around A Water Feature With Gravel
Areas of gravel look particularly effective when surrounding a modern water feature
Crisp beds of gravel always look good in contemporary gardens. They make a nice textural contrast to break up smooth pavers and wooden decks in patio areas. Soften the effect with bold leaf planting arching over or growing through the gravel.
Opt for pockets to create little islands of planting that let you still see plenty of gravel. Any plants with a Mediterranean feel are the natural choice. Spiky phormium can be planted directly into the gravel and look stunning in modern spaces.
Gravel is a versatile material that’s perfect for landscaping around water feature ideas to create contrast against a pond or vertical cascade. If you want to use gravel for a practical purpose like this its a good idea to choose a medium-sized grade. if its too small and fine then it will spread around easily as you walk over it. if its too large then it may make walking on the surface difficult.
Include Gravel In Your Patio Design
An area of gravel underneath a fire pit can be a practical choice for a patio
Smooth hard surfaces tend to dominate in modern gardens but designers often use the trick of introducing contrasting materials in a contemporary color palette to maximize texture and interest.
Adding a distinctive detail such as a bed of white gravel set in smooth paving works well in a bold architectural scheme like this one as part of your patio landscaping ideas. Decorative white and cream pebbles are available in a range of sizes and also come polished for a high-gloss finish that can work well with a range of patio materials.
You May Like: Amazon Fresh Store Oak Lawn
Types Of Decorative Gravel
Mexican beach pebbles: With their smooth, matte finish and blue-gray color tone, Mexican beach pebbles add interest to a yard in a variety of applications. They come as small as .5 or as large as 5 though many homeowners opt for a mix of sizes. Its elegant and used to line planters, fountains and walkways or is even commonly placed between stepping stones and pavers. Cost can be an issue here as they do tend to be more expensive than your average gravel, but they are worth it. Definitely consider using these pebbles in zen gardens.
: Otherwise known as DG, decomposed granite is actually granite that has weathered down into smaller rocks and silt. It can compact rather tightly relative to other gravel types and is usually a tan color that lightens as the sun shines on it. Decomposed granite with a stabilizer should be added to spaces that receive high traffic such as patios and driveways. Over the years, DG will continue to decompose into the soil and require new layers to be added, however, this wont break the bank. Just be careful as it can stick to shoes and is very difficult to yank weeds out of it.
River Rock: These are typically bigger rocks that are used to create drainage, line walkways or fill planters. Theyre tumbled into a round shape too big to walk on as they are thicker and less stable than say Mexican beach pebbles. Homeowners often integrate river rock with mortar into home or fence facades, outdoor fireplaces and more to create a rustic look.
Plant Ornamental Trees Straight Into Gravel Beds
White gravel complements the color of these silver birch trees
If you like modern garden design that features clean crisp lines that work in an architectural way try using smart gravel beds for landscaping around trees.
‘In this design large white cobbles are mixed with smaller polar white pebbles on top of a weed membrane as a mulch below the multi-stemmed silver birch trees and at the base of a stainless steel water blade,’ explains garden designer Samantha Brown .
The colors in this contemporary garden are muted using gray, black and white, so texture from both the landscaping materials and the plants is important. The chunky mix of white gravel works as a key unifying element and helps to set off the silver birch trees to perfection.
You May Like: Free Landscape Design Software For Beginners
Stone For Walkways Paths And Stepping Stones
A garden path made with stepping stones is natural and soothing, and it engages all the senses. There are many natural stones that are suitable for this purpose, with slate being one of the most popular. Using large, flat stones instead of concrete pavers or paths creates a beautiful, layered look in your garden.
Conversely, you can use large, irregularly shaped rocks to delineate where you dont want foot traffic and to discourage pets from walking in certain areas.
Smaller rocks, such as beach pebbles, are ideal to create gravel walks the crunch under your feet when you walk on them is incredibly satisfying, and they are gentle for dog paws. If you like the look of larger paver stones, you can always use gravel or small crushed rock between them as a sort of grout.
Can You Use Pea Gravel In Driveways
Yes! Pea gravel is commonly used in driveways. Its softer and less abrasive than other types of landscaping rocks. This type of landscaping rock offers less traction than other hard landscaping materials, such as asphalt so its not recommended for areas that get a lot of foot traffic, such as grocery store parking lots. Pea gravel is best for residential areas where drivers are expected to drive slowly.
Don’t Miss: New Castle Lawn And Landscape
How To Use Pea Gravel In Landscaping
Pea gravel is very versatile and can be used in many different areas of your yard. You can use it to edge your garden beds, pathway ways, or around your water features. Pea gravel is also commonly used in childrens playgrounds because of its softness. To use this landscaping rock, youll need to first create a border or pathway.
For garden beds, dig a one-foot-deep trench and line it with landscape fabric. Place the fabric on the bottom of the trench so it lines both sides. Fill the trench with gravel, leaving about one inch between the top of the gravel and the soil. For pathways, dig a trench along the intended path. Line the trench with landscape fabric and fill it with gravel. Use a rake to push the gravel down and remove any large clumps.
Choose The Right Plants
If you are striving for a natural native look for your rock garden, pay attention to what types of plants naturally grow in the rocky areas in your region. Arboretums and public gardens often do a good job of creating this kind a natural look, and you can use their examples as a model for your plant choices.
If you are aiming for a themed gardensuch as an alpine, desert, or Zen rock gardenthen choose your plants accordingly, based on examples you find attractive.
In general, we expect rock garden plants to be low-maintenance, and we forgive them for a certain degree of plainness in the trade-off. The rock garden plants used to complement the rocks should be selected largely with your climate and other practical considerations in mindthis will help keep them low-maintenance:
- Rock gardens in warm climates call for plants different from those used in colder climates.
- If you live at high altitudes, you might want to consider a classic alpine rock garden.
- If you live in the desert, cacti and other succulents are a sensible choice. As a bonus, they also blend in beautifully with rocks.
- If your climate is warm and humid, ferns can be an excellent choice, as are begonias, if you desire a flowering plant.
Plant selection goes hand-in-hand with soil preparation. Pay attention to the pH preferences of your plants. An individual plant choice may prefer acidic or alkaline soil, and it’s difficult to mix low pH plants with high pH plants .
Recommended Reading: Landscaping Bricks At Home Depot
Consult A Landscaping Expert
Find a brick and stone specialist in your area, and get free, no-commitment estimates for your project.
Whether you are looking to line a pathway, improve the look and drainage of your driveway, or define a garden bed, crushed granite gravel is an attractive, inexpensive, and hard-wearing material that is well worth considering.
Consisting of larger particles than the decomposed granite, crushed granite gravel drains particularly well. It is also an ideal paving material for projects that need to cover a large area or areas where puddling needs to be avoided. With a soft, natural look, it usually comes in a light grey color but can also be found in earthy brown or tan shades that blend well with a garden that needs a natural look.
Reasonable inexpensive and easy to install and maintain, crushed granite gravel is a great material for experienced and novice landscapers of any budget.
As with many stone materials, you need to keep in mind a couple of drawbacks. Most notably, as it consists of hundreds of small rocks, it will wear quite quickly, particularly in heavy use areas, and if placed in areas near the entrance to your house, you will likely carry some of it inside on the soles of your shoes.
- Easily walked into your house
- Heavy-use areas will compact down and require maintenance
- Can wash away or spread onto other areas in heavy runoff areas
Faq About Landscaping With Rocks
How can I use Landscaping Rocks in Creative Ways?
When it comes to landscape design, you can let your imagination run wild. Build natural ponds or streams through the yard, or a retaining wall with plants, or accent a koi bond.Whether building a waterfall, decorating a pond, or constructing a themed garden, its best to mix-up rock types. Include some boulders, use flagstone to create the base and limestone for a porous effect, and create an interesting flow of water. Look for examples at home and garden shows .
Do you Need to put Anything Under Landscaping Rocks?
Do you need to put anything under landscaping rocks? Technically speaking, no, but there will be consequencesjust like if you dont brush your teeth. Although you have a few options, the most common and the most versatile is landscaping fabric. Landscaping fabric greatly reduces weed growth and plants poking in between rocks. It also prevents rocks from sinking into the soila common occurrence, especially with smaller rocks like pea gravel and lava rocks.There are several types to choose from: Woven Spun PerforatedThe type you choose will depend on the type of rock you choose and your landscaping goals.
Can I get Free Landscaping Rocks?Are There Other Rocks I can Use?
Don’t Miss: Electric Lawn Mower Self Propelled
Incorporating Landscaping Rocks With More Colors And Sizes
When first seeing how many landscaping material options are out there, its easy to get overwhelmed with the variety of colors, sizes, and other options. But incorporating the right combination of decorative garden stones and structural stone features can really help your landscape design stand out.
At Minick Materials, we get our rock from the best sources, and we have colors and types of decorative stone you wont find anywhere else. We can also make a crushed rock to any size you desire. But how much are rocks for landscaping going to cost you? Just remember the old laws of the market: the more specific your requirements are, the higher prices are likely to be.
Mixing up smaller, colored landscape rocks and decorative boulders can be a great option, but you need to know what direction your overall design will take first. You also need to ask how much are large landscaping rocks going to cost versus smaller ones. Then, you can know which decorative options are a priority for your outdoor decor and which can be swapped out for more budget-friendly alternatives.
Create A Modern Design With White Gravel
Opt for light-colored gravel for a contemporary look
If your garden is shady for part of the day using white gravel to reflect the sunlight is a functional choice as well as a decorative one. This is because white gravel bounces light around to give a boost to your plants and help them grow.
Using white gravel instantly brightens the look of shady spots while reflecting existing light to nearby plants, helping them to benefit from more sunshine. It’s important to check that any plants near white gravel will benefit from this extra light.
It also works if your garden is a sun trap. ‘This back garden was designed to complement the contemporary, modern interior of the house,’ explains garden designer Christine Wilford . ‘Bright materials with strong contrast continue the black and white color scheme outside.’
The white gravel areas are integral to the main paving ideas in this garden, contrasting with the sharp and crisp linear black basalt pavers interplanted with low growing thyme. The white theme is picked up with white rendered raised beds featuring architectural planting such as tree ferns and bamboo.
You May Like: Pictures Of Front House Landscaping
Choose The Right Rocks
In most cases, it is best to choose indigenous rock for your rock gardenthe type of rock that is naturally found in your region. Using stone commonly found in your area will make your garden seem like a natural feature of the landscape. Most regions have certain types of rocks that are most common. In much of Maine, for example, dark granite outcroppings can be seen in the roadcuts and ravines, and this kind of stone in a rock garden will seem quite natural. In the upper Mississippi River valley, the layered limestone of the bluff country is a natural choice for a rock garden. In other regions of the upper Midwest, it is the rounded boulders created by glacial action that make for the most natural-looking rock garden.
In addition to making your rock garden look more natural, there is another huge advantage to using indigenous stone. Rock is a very heavy building material, so shipping costs are very high. Building a rock garden in Illinois using Maine granite will be an expensive proposition, compared to building it with limestone rock harvested from river bluffs just a few miles away.
That’s not to say that you can’t build a rock garden with non-native stone. If you live in Kansas and have your heart set on a Zen garden or alpine garden, for example, there’s nothing wrong with using California coastal granite or Rocky Mountain schist in your construction.
Pick Gravel For A Mediterranean
Using gravel is one of the easiest ways to create a classic Mediterranean-style space
In Mediterranean garden ideas gravel is often interspersed with rocks and a natural planting scheme that combines different colors and textures.
If you like the idea, try introducing a variety of plants that work well landscaped with gravel and rocks. Many plants are happy to settle their roots straight into gravel. Any gaps will soon be colonised by self-seeding plants that will help your landscaping design evolve smoothly from year to year with very little input from you.
Try drifts of hardy and low-growing plants including lavender, herbs and succulents, then try landscaping with grasses to create a naturalistic look too.
Read Also: What Are The Best Rocks For Landscaping
Looking For A Timeless Design
Trends are fun, but you might be looking to do a decorative rock installation that won’t go out of style in two years or the age of the property youre working on. If that is the case, let us advise you we have been in this business since 1958, and there are many types of rocks that stay at the top of our best-selling list decade after decade. For a timeless design, you might want to consider crushed granites, Aztec, naturally-colored river pebbles and what we call natural colors, which are a warm, hearty blend of tans and browns.
Gravel Instead Of Grass
With increased concerns over water conservation and chemical use in yards, many people are exploring lower maintenance options for their properties. Stone and gravel landscaping are smart alternatives to grass, especially where frequent drought and heat make turf grass impractical. But regardless of where you live, inorganic materials like river rock, pea gravel, and crushed granite can be a beautiful compliment to the rest of your landscapingwith a lot less effort.
Also Check: Landscaping With Railroad Ties Ideas
Pros And Cons Of Adding Landscape Gravel To Your Backyard Design
Landscape gravel can be a visually aesthetic and cohesive way to tie together your entire landscape design. The variety in texture enhances the landscapeâs appeal, and thereâs much to love about the low maintenance, low cost quality of gravel. But is it right for your yard? Find out more about this material to discover if it works in your backyard design.
Light Up Your Gravel Landscaping At Night
Highlight your chosen landscaping materials at night with cleverly placed lighting
At night time switch up your gravel driveway ideas using V-shaped washes of light to create a soft and welcoming ambiance in your front yard. Lights can be strategically placed pointing downwards to illuminate gravel to get the best effect.
‘Gravel gardens give you the opportunity to work with some interest and depth when it comes to lighting,’ says Piero De Marchis of Detail Lighting . ‘Gravel tends to be used mostly to frame pathways or walkways, so its important to light them appropriately.
‘If gravel is laid next to a vertical surface, like the side of the house or garden walls, use uplighters in the ground to shine brightly upwards, at intervals of around 1-1.5 metres to create a consistent pathway. Alternatively, if the gravel is in a more open setting, place low level outdoor ground spotlights in amongst the planting and other areas that frame the gravel, to create a clear pattern and outline.’
If you want to try landscaping with lights like this in your front yard, a garden designer will be able to help you plan it.
Also Check: Landscaping Ideas Large Front Yard